It seems women are less of a target for investment scams then men are with Australians reportedly losing more than $13 million in the first half of this year alone.
According to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), men are almost twice as likely to be singled out by financial scammers than women, with those aged 45 to 64 most susceptible.
The ACCC is now warning people to keep an eye out for anyone promising you great returns with little to no risk as if it sounds too good to be true, it most likely is.
While many Aussies reported losing millions to investment scams to the ACCC’s Scamwatch website, ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard says the number of people who have been duped is most likely much higher.
“[Investment scams are] the most profitable of all the current scams,” Rickard says. “It is likely that losses are much higher as many victims do not report scams or contact other authorities.”
Rickard says these types of scams usually start with a phone call out of the blue with scammers these days employing sophisticated, convincing and persistent language.
“[This] is why we sadly see people lose large amounts of money to them,” she says. “They are also delivered through unsolicited emails, online forums and social media. Scammers use high pressure tactics to sell you a financial opportunity that is ‘not to be missed’, involves high and quick returns for low risks, and needs to be acted on quickly or you will miss out.”
Rickard warns that people should do their research before making any kind of investment.
“Never invest money with someone who has contacted you out of the blue, no matter who they say they are, how much money they promise you or the urgency with which they’re trying to make you act,” she says. “They seem too good to be true because they are.”